When Lawless Magazine was first thought of I wanted to come up with a magazine in which I had control and the idea was to use the magazine/blog to support Aussie small business, the backyard builders and those having a go and it wouldn’t be Lawless without hot chicks and cool rides but there also had to be soul I wanted Lawless Magazine to recognize those in need in the community and do our bit to recognise those who give so much for very little reward.
One such couple is Simon and Vivian Borg. I have known the Borg’s for sometime and it was only by chance I ran into the couple at a pub (who’d thought?) when they had just completed their first run for their nominated charity Beyond Blue and they asked if I could cover the Cruise away the Blues run and here I’am.
The run takes in some of the best scenic roads Sydney has to offer.
The Cruise starts in a park named Curry reserve in the picturesque and historic town of Camden on the rim of the Sydney basin’s South West.
A proud resident of the south west of Sydney, I’m always wrapped when our Motor heads turn out in their numbers to cruise and we are always behind a good cause so I was happy as to see they have turned out in numbers.
The most noteable difference between a bike run (there was a few bikes on the cruise) and cars is the fact the whole family gets to enjoy the day.
The day brought out some of the best cars from yesterday and current models and I was especially pleased with the Aussie content, the Torana’s, Fords and even a Sandman with an old school custom paint job.
There were mustangs of all ages and those who just wanted to tag along in trucks and on bikes.
The day started very overcast and threatened to rain and all the forecasts were rain through out the week so you could expect the organizers to be a little nervous but the number of early arrivals laid their fears to rest and they just kept coming and coming and by the time the formalities and speeches were complete the numbers had swelled considerably.
Underway and its always the photographers job to get ahead of the pack and pick a prime spot to capture pictures of the Cruise on the move and I had no sooner hit Camden Valley road and over the bridge to the entrance of Camden and I was greeted by a Booze Bus, random breath test and I was waved in by the Constable to join the Congo line snaking through the witches hats to be tested.
Turning a negative into a positive, I decided to make a hard left and parked up which left the young Constable a little stunned and second guessing himself on what he should do until I grabbed my camera and walked up and introduced myself and told the young Constable I was covering a charity run and then asked the young Constable if he mind if I shared his prime posy and take some photo’s from the safety of their sanctuary.
Looking a bit bemused the young Constable looked at a lost so I asked to see his Superior only to turn and see the Sergeant in-charge making a b line towards me.
A larger lot older bloke with a stern look on his face came down and before he could say a word I jumped in to tell him about the charity run and being of the same vintage of myself tried to get into his head and tell him of the cars involved and it was when I told the Sarg of the Sandman that I felt a change of mood and the look on his face change and it was then the Sarg shared an early memory as a young bloke cruising down to a popular hangout in Revesby by the river in his Sandman and with that he told the young Constable to wave on all the participants and with all the cars and bikes approaching it wasn’t a moment too soon.
You could see the old feller conversing with the young Constable pointing and waving like an excited kid.
Having avoided the inconvenience of a Booze Bus we then made our way through the historical tidy town of Camden and anyone who has been to Camden would know of the traffic nightmare the main street can be especially with the out of Towner’s who converge to the main streets many cafés on weekends and the large roundabouts that are placed every intersection through the narrow main street don’t help but the positive thing is the slow traffic gave both the onlookers and cruisers an opportunity to interact and I don’t care what anyone says to see people pointing, singing out and making complimentary gestures as the cars and bikes brought the street to a stand still, leaves one warm and fuzzy inside.
Camden is surrounded by great roads, is the gateway to the Razorback range and some of the best pubs in Sydney.
Our first stop was one of those pubs The Oaks Hotel.
Situated in the Oaks main street the Oaks Hotel is much like many other small town pubs in small communities who are more than happy to promote themselves as bike and car club friendly Hotels and not only appreciate the patronage of these events they put there money and support behind these causes.
Paul Collins owner of The Oaks Hotel
‘’We believe we are in a unique environment, we are a little village pub and it’s a beautiful drive to get here and all you have to do is go around the corner here and you can see the Sydney skyline and we have a big car park with plenty of outdoor space and music on a Sunday. The Oaks is a family hotel and patrons can sit with their car or bikes and enjoy the surroundings.
Sunday we have a $10 roast and $12 Burger lunch and there is also a Saturday menu and we can cater for everyone, our meals are great for those travelling through on a drive or ride whom just want to grab something quick and easy and get back onto the road.
The trip out here is a sort of tourist route and people from Sydney or Penrith can do a loop and there are great back roads like Silverdale and Mulgoa roads which take you to Picton.
We are big supporters of Charity groups like todays and Beyond Blue is one of our favorites and it’s a really good cause!
Depression has been a hidden agenda for so long and it’s a hidden killer and I’m more than happy to get behind Simon and the guys, they have done a great job and we encourage everyone to get behind the cause.’’
Next door to the Oaks Hotel is a service station so not only was our first a welcomed drink stop it was an opportunity for punters to fill up on fuel and a great lunch and it was also an opportunity for the kids to blow off some steam in the grounds and the pubs patrons to check out the cars and bikes.
Our stop had a festive feel especially and it went up a notch when Paul donated a bottle of Jack Daniels to be raffled off but the run organizers had different ideas on how to raise money from the gift and rallied everyone over for a thank you speech to Paul and the Oaks Hotel and to organize a coin toss for the bottle of JD, (that is where a contestant throws a coin at the bottle and the coin that lands the closest to the bottle wins’’.
It was a great way for everyone to get involved and mingle with other punters and with the lucky punter claiming his prize it was back on our way to our next stop and final stop on our 73klm trek at one of my favorite pubs The Horse and Jockey Inn at Menangle House.
Once again the views along the route were stunning and it doesn’t matter how many times I travel those roads I love the drive/ride and the Horse and Jockey is a great pub,.
Located on a property it shares with the historical Menangle House the grounds and venue are often used for large events and weddings.
Owners the Nixon family are welcoming and obliging to all.
Much like the road runner and Wiley Coyote I decided to take a detour and much like Wiley I took a wrong turn and I too was greeted by road works but I was still able to make it to The Horse and Jockey in time to not only capture the punters on their arrival I also had ample time to catch up and chew the fat with my mate and owner Greg Nixon.
I have shot (photographed) everything from 21st birthdays to Weddings and Bike features on the grounds but never really got the full story on the property so I thought this might be a good place to start
‘’The historical house with the adjoining building was built in 1834.
My wife and I have owned the property for over 20 years and the Horse and Jockey has been open for just over 12 years.
We try to do what we can for the community and this was another worthy cause and we try to help out the best we can and its something whilst we cant put a lot of sponsorship behind we are happy to help anyway we can and today we are donating some of the money back from anyone purchasing a meal and the venue is here for everyone to use and hopefully raise some money out of it.
We welcome all, car clubs and bike clubs and have been approached by numerous people over the years and like I said we are always happy to help, there are people in the community who have had fallen on hard times with kids and relatives getting sick and we always try to help out where we can’’
With its spacious grounds, Cruisers had no problem finding parking and the pubs back yard soon resembled a car show.
Once everyone was parked up it was time to grab a beer and a great meal and join in the many activities.
The Cruise’s organizers had thought of everything and the day turned into what was best described as country fair with beer on tap and festivities for the kids and kids at heart, activities like tug a war and sack racers and there were trophies for peoples choice and even a Strong Man exhibition by Camden Strongman Club, intrigued about the whole concept I spoke to Patty Omochain about the club
‘’I came to Australia in 1995 and I was a Strongman back in Ireland and saw there wasn’t much competition here in Australia so I set up a Strongman club in Camden and 10 years on we now have 20 fulltime members and it is one of the biggest clubs of its kind in Australia.
We also run the Sydney Strongman Series, which is the biggest competition in Australia.
The club does 3-4 charity events annually and Beyond Blue is one of those close to our hearts and we have all known of a couple of people who have used the service and it was run pass the boys about doing something small, some small gesture to help out and get involved and Andrew Fraser, Canberra’s Strongman also made the trip and we also have two of our Camden boys here today who are going to lift a car, monster dumbbell and put on a bit of an exhibition, nothing too heavy today because we have a comp tomorrow.’’
These events though only one day take weeks if not months to organize, a ton of work and people to make it reality and I do a lot of Charity stories but I don’t know if there is one cause that hits and relates to as many people as depression and suicide especially in some communities, Vivian Borg one of the events organizers opened up about the reason for the run ‘
’The reasoning behind this was because we have family members and friends who have committed suicide and family members who have suffered from depression.
My first bout with depression was when I lost my brother and then again when I was diagnosed with cancer and two of my sisters also suffered from depression and we want people to know there is help out before they get to that point where they want to take their own lives and we just want to get the message out there that there is help out there and all it takes is a phone call.
Beyond Blue can help you get back on the track again.
People think there is no way out when they are suicidal and it only they just don’t know how to recourse it and that was our main objective in organizing this run, so we can get the message across and weren’t expecting this many people to turn up and we are wrapped with the numbers and there is actually a couple of people here today, one a good friend of ours who lost his 27 year old son 2 weeks ago in a motorcycle accident and after a lost like that its so easy to go down that track of being depressed and suicidal and we just want people to know we care about them and care about trying to help people and it’s a mental illness and nothing to be ashamed of and I’m not ashamed to say I suffered, plenty of people have it but some don’t know how to deal with it and if you learn to deal with it its manageable.
The boys came up with the idea for the run and we have a lot of friends with bikes and cars and we thought we would make it a good family day by including games and activities for the kids and thank god the sun came out, we were lucky there because we wanted to include the whole family not just the Rev-heads.
I don’t think there is any family that depression or some sort of mental illness, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression there is all different disorders and its hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by one or the other, its wide spread and we want people know there is someone out there pick up that phone and ring Beyond Blue or Lifeline!
We chose Beyond Blue but there is also Lifeline and many other places and they will help you!””
Simon also liked Beyond Blue approach to reaching people
‘’Beyond Blue is not only just picking up the phone, I think the best thing is the approach they have taken to get young people involved who don’t want to talk by using Facebook as their main contact method its great.
You can do a self-assessment and there is contact numbers and Facebook also need to be congratulated they are also doing the public a service.
Beyond Blue have done a great thing and it’s a service which is not only great for kids, I’m 39 and I would be lying if I said I haven’t done the test and challenge everyone to give it a go!’’
Even though much of our commentary came from the Borg’s, both Vivian and Simon are part of a team that make this run possible, the Beyond Blue, Cruise the Blues away team is, Joel Finlay, Darryl Penton, Skye Irwin.